The People United Will Never Be Defeated
36 Variations on a Chilean song
After the intermission, the Hague-based artists Ingrid Rollema en Suzanne Groothuis present the Hope Foundation, which supports Palestinian children through art projects.
It is regarded as one of the most impressive piano works of the 20th century. Frederic Rzewski wrote his iconic series of variations The People United Will Never Be Defeated in 1975.
He based it on El pueblo unido jamás será vencido, the song of the Chilean resistance. With his piece he wanted to support the resistance in their struggle against the dictatorship of General Pinochet.
That people from very different backgrounds can unite, Rzewski magisterially translated into music. In his 36 variations, he quotes all kinds of styles, such as jazz, serialism, minimalism and romanticism. Some variations are swinging, others are quiet and meditative. As a listener, he takes you on an exhilarating musical journey. This stunning piece is mentioned in the same breath as Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations. A piece you must hear live at least once.
The People United Will Never Be Defeated is one of pianist Hanna Shybayeva's favourite pieces. She grew up in Belarus and emigrated to The Hague, where she is still very active, including as pianist of the New European Ensemble. She is committed to supporting dissident artists and refugees from Belarus and is a figurehead of the organisation Music for Belarus.